Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada is picturesque coastlines and scenic beaches. There are also active fishing villages, cozy country inns, and friendly people. The culture in New Brunswick is French-speaking Acadian culture that flourishes in the northeast area of the province. Lunenburg, a historic Nova Scotia town, is a natural beauty source. It is an example of the natural scenery that can be seen on the Cabot Trail. Prince Edward Island is home to other unique features such as emerald green farmland, beautiful beaches, and rich lobster catches. The mountains of Gros Morne National Park rise 800 m (2,625 ft) above the sparkling blue fjords, while Labrador offers an imposing and stunning landscape with a backdrop design.

Google Maps of Atlantic Canada

Getting Around

There are regular flights throughout the region and a bridge that connects Borden in Prince Edward Island to Cape Tormentine in New Brunswick. A ferry travels between Wood Island, Prince Edward Island, and Pictou, Nova Scotia. Newfoundland must be accessed by air or ferry from Sydney, Nova Scotia, to either Port aux Basques or Argentia. You can take a bus or high-speed ferry between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Bar Harbor, and Portland, both in Maine. It is important to check that your route is available as many areas are remote.

Atlantic Canada is a beautiful region with plenty to offer visitors. From the scenic coastline to the friendly people, there is something for everyone in this part of the world. If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience, check out New Brunswick’s French-speaking Acadian culture. And if you’re looking for breathtaking natural beauty, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Lunenburg or Gros Morne National Park. Whatever your interests, Atlantic Canada has something to offer you.

Popular tours

Prince Edward Island

If you’re looking for a trip that will give you a unique perspective on Canada, consider taking a tour. There are many tours on Prince Edward Island, each offering a different view of the country. Some popular tours include the Wine Trail Tour and the Nature Tour. If you’re interested in camping, check out the festivals in Charlottetown or Summerside. Either way, you will have a memorable trip visiting Prince Edward Island.

Nova Scotia

If you’re looking to explore Canada’s beautiful Atlantic coastline, there are plenty of great tours to choose from. Some popular tours include exploring Halifax and the surrounding area, whale-watching in Lunenburg, and visiting Cape Breton Island. If you’re interested in history, many exciting tours take you to different areas throughout the country, like the tour that takes you to Quebec City’s Old Port. Whatever your interests are, there is an excellent tour for you.

New Brunswick

If you’re thinking about traveling to Canada, there are a lot of great options available right here in New Brunswick. Popular tours include kayaking in the Miramichi River, hiking in Gros Morne National Park, and exploring the Capital City of Fredericton. You can also tour the province’s wine country or enjoy a drive down the beautiful Saint John River. Whatever your interests, there’s sure to be a tour that fits them.


The national holidays in Canada are celebrated from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans; for the traveler, all government offices and banks will be closed at these times. On national holidays that are also statutory holidays, most shops are closed. However, some may remain open if they operate under different hours or days of the week. For example, a shop usually opens on Sundays, and Mondays may remain open on a Monday holiday.

National holidays in Atlantic Canada include New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

Locally observed provincial holidays include a civic holiday in Nova Scotia; New Brunswick Day; and several holidays in Newfoundland and Labrador, including St. George’s Day, Discovery Day, and Orangeman’s Day.

Acadian pockets of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island also celebrate St. Jean Baptiste Day, which was pagan in origin but has since become associated with Catholic, Québecois, and Franco culture. Expect tons of Franco fun on this day.

Check the national and provincial holidays in Canada here.

Business Hours

Business hours in eastern Canada are generally similar to what you find in the United States. Most offices are open from 8 or 9 am to 5 or 6 pm Monday through Friday and are closed on weekends. Boutiques and souvenir shops typically open up around 10 am, usually until 6 pm, especially during the peak tourist season. Hours vary widely for general merchandise and grocery stores. Generally speaking, you can expect early and later hours in the larger cities (even 24-hour grocery stores are cropping up) and limited hours in smaller towns and villages. Most general merchandise stores are closed on weekends.

Drinking Laws

The legal drinking age is 19 years across all provinces. Restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages are said to be “licensed.” If you want to drink with dinner, look for a sign or ask whether the establishment is licensed. Don’t drink and drive; Canadian law takes drunken driving very seriously, and you could do a hard time. Also, don’t let anyone carry open containers of alcohol in your vehicle, and don’t bring them into any public area that isn’t adequately zoned for alcohol consumption. The police can fine you on the spot.


Canada has two official languages, English and French. There is signage in both languages in the four Atlantic provinces. English is universally understood and primarily used throughout Atlantic Canada (except perhaps in a few French villages).


Smoking is now banned from all public places in eastern Canada, but that is a relatively recent change. Prince Edward Island first banned the practice in 2003, New Brunswick followed a year later, and Newfoundland followed in 2005. Nova Scotia only banned outdoor smoking in 2006 – with a maximum fine of $2,000 – while bars and restaurants in Nova Scotia can maintain smoking rooms so long as they are entirely separated from other public spaces and very well-ventilated.

The minimum legal age to purchase tobacco in Canada is 18. However, in some provinces – including all Maritime Provinces – the age has been raised locally to 19.


Canada has some of the highest taxes in the world, which offset the advantages you gain by paying in Canadian dollars. Three of the four Maritime Provinces—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland—use the so-called HST (Harmonized Sales Tax).

HST is charged on any goods or services as a combined tax for 13%. HST also affects the local city by taxing hotels.

On Prince Edward Island, the GST is folded into the tax on everything. At 15.5%, it’s among the highest in the country and includes a 10% provincial tax. Some items such as footwear, clothing, books, and groceries are exempt from this taxation.


Most Atlantic Canada and Newfoundland are on Atlantic Standard Time, but Labrador is 1 hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time (as observed in New England and the U.S. East Coast).